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AFP
June 30, 2020

Russia’s opposition flounders as Putin changes constitution

World

AFP
June 30, 2020

Russia’s opposition is denouncing this week’s vote on President Vladimir Putin’s constitutional reforms as a joke, pointing out that copies of the amended basic law are already on sale in Moscow bookshops.

From liberal reformers to Communists, Kremlin critics say the vote -- which started last week and ends on Wednesday -- is a thinly veiled attempt to keep Putin, 67, in power for life. But other than tepid calls to boycott or vote “No”, the opposition has done little to actively fight the changes.

Russia’s top opposition figure Alexei Navalny, who last summer rallied thousands against suspected voter fraud in Moscow, has also shown little interest in combating the reforms. Experts say deep divisions and shrewd moves by the Kremlin are keeping opponents from mounting any serious opposition to Putin’s plans.